Frank Sinatra sang, "They grow an awful lot of coffee in Brazil." It is unquestionably true; it's the largest producer of arabica coffee and not a small amount of robusta too. Brazilian coffee is nutty, sweet, low in acidity and develops exceptional bittersweet and chocolate roast tastes. There's a long tradition of roasting Brazil in the United States. Brazil is roasted and sold as a single-origin coffee -- by region, cooperative or Fazenda -- but it is often used in blends for the sake of cost control. Brazil coffees are common in espresso, both in high-end blends and in commercial coffees like Dunkin Donuts. Even the broken fragments of beans and the dust from the dry mills is sold, ending up in some awful coffee product somewhere, most likely instant.
Peaberry lots normally do not come in large amounts, but when you produce as much coffee as Brazil, it figures you can generate a lot of peaberries as well. Peaberry is simply the rounded-form coffee seed that occurs when one of the embryotic beans in the fruit fails to grown. Instead of needing to share the space in the fruit with a friend, the peaberry spreads out and fills out the available space in the fruit. The peaberries are separated from the normal flat beans in dry milling the coffee, before export. Peaberry don't necessarily have better cup quality than flats, but with this lot from Carmo de Minas, I felt they did.
The dry grounds smell like sweetened peanut sauce with fresh ginger and clove. Dark roasts are a bit fruitier and have notes of ripe banana and papaya. The wet grounds smell saturated with maple syrup, which is a welcoming scent, and have notes of butter and praline. Dark roasts are so sweet, with a syrupy smell of molasses and a smell of Brazil nuts is released on the break. The body is surprisingly on the light side for a dry-processed coffee. This doesn't take away from the profile, but rather, enhances the clean, simple syrup sweetness that is found in the cup. The acidity is low, but has a quality of gen ma cha tea. Deeper roasts are very nice and have dark notes of naturally processed sugars. The finish is like toasted sesame and bittering baker's chocolate. This is a nice brewed coffee, and would make a great espresso component too.